OMG I am actually attending a conference!

I am leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again, well I’ll be back Saturday morning. I am off to yet another Copass Camp (insert happy face emoji) and this time I am braving the Coworking Europe conference(insert OMFG scary face WTF emoji). I went all the way to Bali in 2016 on a Copass camp and at the same time was the Coworking Asia Conference. I didn’t attend the conference.

Last December, I went to Brussels, you guessed it, for the Copass Camp, and did not go to the Coworking Europe Conference that happened to be running at the same time.

So, you run a coworking space Philip, you travel to a place where the conference about your industry is running and you don’t go!!!

Seems stupid? No.

Conferences are often full of speakers who know the organiser or are sponsoring the show and that does not make them a good speaker and doesn’t mean they have something valuable to say.

Most conferences are in stuffy venues, with row upon row of seats facing a stage where death by PowerPoint is enacted for what seems like an eternity, often discussing metrics, IT, and probably community, at a rough guess, and people just sit and listen with little interaction.

All the good conversations and real connections happen outside the conference over dinner, breakfast, a tour of the city, or over a beer, in my case a fruit juice. That’s what I found in Brussels.

So why am I going this time?

Well, I am learning to be less judgemental, I am learning to listen more, I learning that I don’t fucking know everything. I am giving conferences another chance. I am going in to listen without evaluating.

This is going to be a tough assignment.

I will keep you posted over the next few days as to what happens. I might be writing a tourists guide to Dublin for people who hate slides by the end of the week.

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